Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Long Arm is HERE!!!!!

Well, the day is finally here!!!

Meet Eunice!!!  She's an APQS Ultimate 1 long arm...and I'm in love!  :)

Our day started about 5am - well, MY day started about 5am!  I woke up, dressed, did hair and makeup and then cleaned house for a bit getting ready.  Got the little baby ready as she had to make the drive with us, and by 8am we were on the road.

We drove nearly two hours away to pick the long arm up.  It was a LONG drive!!  More because of the excitement and nervousness than anything else.  Took a little over an hour to get everything apart and loaded...and then the return home...another two hours!!!

It was a bit scary to see her all in pieces...thank goodness for my Husband's Uncle - he ran the show!!  If not for him we'd have been done in!  My wonderful Husband also gave up his first day off in weeks to devote to me and my long arm - aren't I blessed?

The picture below literally sums up my life!!!  The long arm - and a BABY GATE!!!

Pretend like you don't see that dresden plate quilt back's supposed to be a surprise!  LOL*

Yay!!!  All put together!!!  It was about 2pm before we got everything set up...lots of fiddling...running to youtube for help videos...and then bazzaaaaam!!!  I loaded a teeny tiny practice piece.  (I loaded it totally wrong too!  Hahaha!)

Below are some of my first stitches.  The bobbin thread is orange and I have tan in the top - I had to loosen up the bobbin tension just a hair - no tan on bottom and no orange on top...not too bad!

Here's my second practice piece which is more like baby quilt size.  If you click on the picture you can see some of my wonky attempts at feathers.  I have tested long arms before buying this but you just can't really let loose until it's YOURS.  Nobody was going to get mad at me for breaking thread or doing something wrong.  I did have a few thread breaks but they were good - I learned what NOT to do.  Lol*

Really - this is A LOT like la sewing machine...but totally different at the same time.  Kind of like...a car sewing machine.  Hahaha!  It's big machinery like a car with sewing machine functions.  It's really fascinating!!  I noticed it's REALLY touchy when it comes to glide and movement.  I still have a bit of a boxy thing going requires this almost bouncy dancing like movement to get the machine head to move in a flowing way rather than a boxy way.  The head moves on a track back and forth and then another track side to side.  There is this point when moving the head where you almost "bounce" it into the right shape.  I can imagine the ONLY way I will master this is to build up arm muscles in places that I never had them before.  It isn't a strenuous movement but it's definitely a different one.

I had a few moments of nervousness, intimidation, a teensy bit of apprehension.  But I reminded myself I am itching to learn this so I just forced myself to lose fear and make it work.  So far I'm having a ball!!!  Tomorrow more practice and then I think I might dive into a quilt.  Won't be fancy - likely stars and swirls hahaha, but still, I'm just going to practice night and day until I get this thing!  :)

My feet and back and whole body are killing me so I'm off to bed.  A friend is bringing her Grandma by for some sewing help so I have another early morning!  :)


Melzie Belle said...

I have very much enjoyed reading about your excitement and enjoyment! :) Glad to see you jumping right on in! Congrats!
xoxo melzie

Sewing Junkie said...

I thought about you a couple times today wondering how this all went. Hopefully you get a good rest tonight.Make sure you take notes on thread tensions. About the time you think you will remember something it will be lost in your busy head and hard to recall. Have fun and hope you enjoy every minute of it. Chris

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You didn't just get a longarm, you got a mega-workhorse! Congratulations and have fun playing.

Rachel said...


Mommarock said...

That is amazing! I think anything is quilting.. gosh if I am able to go do some straight lines on my sewing machine I am amazed with myself, so the fact that you did stars it to me awesome!! I am thoroughly impressed!

Ariane said...

Hi! Your Ultimate is actually newer than mine. You are very lucky to get the ergo handles! I think that will help you. I have been looking to add those at some point, especially since I am short and can't always reach to the back very well! My serial number I believe is in the 300s, so it is quite a bit older.

ipatchandquilt said...

Hello! I found your blogpost after doing an internet search on " first long arm " experiences. Today I had the opportunity to work on a long arm for the very first time. I am quite proficient in FMQ on my DMS Janome 7700 Horizon. A friend who owns a quiltshop asked me if I could do some work on her long arm. She is totally new to machine quilting on any machine so she thought I would be better at it than she.
I am so glad to see your results of your first time on a long arm. I found it more difficult than I thought it would be. Indeed my curves are boxy. I did get the backtracking all right after some practice. Straight lines on a slant are a horror but horizonal or vertical lines are pretty OK.
My friend wants me to do a little quilt for a customer, but I feel like I could do a better job on my Janome. Before I attempt a quilt for a customer I feel like I need some more practice.
Could you tell me how long it took you to feel like you get a reasonable result on your long arm?
Greetings from Europe,